End-user license agreement

Software License Agreements / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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An end-user license agreement or EULA (/ˈjlə/) is a legal contract between a software supplier and a customer or end-user, generally made available to the customer via a retailer acting as an intermediary. A EULA specifies in detail the rights and restrictions which apply to the use of the software.[1]

Form contracts for digital services (such as terms of service and privacy policies) were traditionally presented on paper (see shrink-wrap agreement) but are now often presented digitally via browsewrap or clickwrap[2][3] formats. As the user may not see the agreement until after they have already purchased or engaged with the software, these documents may be contracts of adhesion.

Software companies often make special agreements with large businesses and government entitles that include support contracts and specially drafted warranties.

Many EULAs assert extensive liability limitations. Most commonly, an EULA will attempt to hold harmless the software licensor in the event that the software causes damage to the user's computer or data, but some software also proposes limitations on whether the licensor can be held liable for damage that arises through improper use of the software (for example, incorrectly using tax preparation software and incurring penalties as a result). One case upholding such limitations on consequential damages is M.A. Mortenson Co. v. Timberline Software Corp., et al.[4] Some EULAs also claim restrictions on venue and applicable law in the event that a legal dispute arises.

Some copyright owners use EULAs in an effort to circumvent limitations the applicable copyright law places on their copyrights (such as the limitations in sections 107–122 of the United States Copyright Act), or to expand the scope of control over the work into areas for which copyright protection is denied by law (such as attempting to charge for, regulate or prevent private performances of a work beyond a certain number of performances or beyond a certain period of time). Such EULAs are, in essence, efforts to gain control, by contract, over matters upon which copyright law precludes control.[5]